6/29/2010

Why Radio Sucks Now

The horrible state of commercial radio never ceases to amaze me.

I had a small change to my work situation so, now, instead of spending time in a car with my satellite radio, I’m working indoors. I don’t yet have a portable adaptor for my satellite receiver, so lately I’ve been listening to a lot of government radio. Specifically, the local “active rock” station. Their playlist seems to consist mainly of a mix of old Pearl Jam, old Black Sabbath, old Motley Crue, and way too much Nickleback and bands who sound like Nickleback.

I mention this (yet again) by way of transitioning to today’s post. Granted it was a long time ago, but when I was growing up, commercial radio was the source for new music. And they actually played new music. During that weird period between early 1970’s freeform FM and the homogenization of your FM dial, there was a time when radio stations would actually play things you hadn't heard 10,000 times.

One of the artists introduced to my expanding taste was Robert Gordon. Rockabilly music and the guy playing it immediately enthralled me. He looked like the Stray Cats, but before the Stray Cats. Gordon’s voice sounded like the old Elvis records my dad listened to, but he had found a plugged-in Scotty Moore in the form of Chris Spedding.

The album that introduced me to Gordon was Rock Billy Boogie, which he released on RCA in 1979. There was no rockabilly revival fad and Gordon wasn't following trends; just a guy making the music he loved.

Rock Billy Boogie.mp3
Black Slacks.mp3


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5 Comments:

At 8:18 AM , Blogger Charlie said...

Unfortunatley, after the Sirius/XM merger even satellite radio isn't what it used to be. People who want new music really have to go searching for it.

 
At 11:28 AM , Blogger Terminal said...

I agree! I find most interesting music on local college stations. That seems to be as close as we can get to the Album Oriented Format of the late 60's - 70's FM stations...before they were corporate owned and operated.

 
At 10:46 AM , Blogger Natsthename said...

I'm in total agreement about radio. It's all mass-appeal schlock and NOTHING seems good or lasting about it.
I miss AOR formats.

 
At 8:02 PM , Blogger aikin said...

oh yeah - excellent feedback! Thanks, guys.

Charlie, I totally agree. I still way prefer satellite radio, but the merger certainly didn't help the quality.

I've plugged this Internet station on my blog before, but I love Devil's Night Radio and can't speak highly enough of the - admittedly strange sometimes - mix of things you'll hear there.
http://www.devilsnight.com/radio.html.htm

 
At 7:57 PM , Blogger Mirak Ansom said...

Radio of today seems to get a lot of common complaints, one being the "mass-appeal" aspect, you guys want to learn new bands and songs and not hear the same disposable stuff every 3 hours.

 

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